Going to Kyochon, a new Korean fried chicken place that has recently expanded from Seoul to Torrance to K-Town, is an exercise in miscommunication and delayed gratification. But oh, the chicken—juicy and crunchy, but with a thinner crust than Southern style that’s melded to the skin. Original flavor has toasted garlic bits embedded in the crust, and a hint of soy sauce and the 23 secret ingredients that the company boasts of. Spicy kicks it up several notches: It may seem moderate at first, but the heat builds on you. For a side, you get pickled daikon cubes, a reprieve for your mouth after some spicy chicken.
In theory, the place offers wings, drumsticks (“sticks”), and whole chicken (cut up into small pieces), but in practice, you’ll just have to take what they have. Sometimes there’s nothing but wings, sometimes nothing but whole chicken. Sometimes (often, it seems) they run out of chicken altogether, so don’t plan on swinging by late in the evening. And planning ahead is essential if you’re thinking of getting takeout—call two hours in advance.
Although the place has the ambiance of a McDonald’s, there is table service, so if you are eating in, go ahead and sit down. Do not make the mistake of ordering at the counter—that’s for to-go orders only, and see the above paragraph about a two-hour wait. The servers are young and eager, and although they can’t do much about wait times they’re awfully apologetic about it. Note that the front area of the restaurant is a smoking section, with a large open window, so it gets chilly at night.
The menu is pretty chicken-centric; there’s also chicken bulgogi with rice, and spicy chicken with rice cakes, which is basic Korean home cooking. And then there’s french fries and fried cheese sticks. No beer, but the owner says he’s working on getting a license; there is, however, free soda.
A medium order of wings is $9, large is $16. Whole chicken is $16, spicy chicken with rice cakes $7, and fries/cheese sticks $2.
Kyochon [South Bay]
2515 Torrance Boulevard, Torrance
Board Links: Kyochon–Korean fried chicken